Initiative shifts spotlight to arts entities led by Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color beyond NYC’s five boroughs
New York, NY, February 22, 2023: Today, Museum Hue in partnership with Hester Street, announced the launch of the HueArts New York State (NYS) interactive map and directory that includes nearly 130 arts entities led by Black, Latine Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and all People of Color (BIPOC) throughout New York’s Capital, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York regions. HueArts NYS also released the “Brown Paper” outlining the unique contributions, experiences, and challenges of BIPOC-led arts entities across New York’s regions beyond the five boroughs that includes a call to policymakers for greater state funding and support essential for them to thrive.
HueArts NYS is an expansion of HueArts NYC, the Museum Hue-led initiative launched in February 2022 in partnership with Hester Street and The Laundromat Project. Often overlooked and outside of NYC’s sphere of influence and power, HueArts NYS broadens awareness and understanding of New York’s rich cultural landscape and provides critical information for decision-makers about the unique contributions and challenges of POC-led arts entities within New York’s cultural ecosystem existing outside of NYC. The report includes 20 specific research-based recommendations that aim to help BIPOC-led and founded arts entities thrive well into the future.
“New York State has a long history and rich legacy of Indigenous peoples and African Americans stewarding and cultivating the land, as well as persevering and pursuing their freedom and independence,” said Stephanie Johnson-Cunningham, Founder and President of Museum Hue. “ There are also the cultural practices of Latine, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Middle Eastern communities, that hold a treasure trove of information that is integral to our collective understanding of how they have shaped communities across the state. HueArts NYS is meant to ensure that their arts entities are acknowledged for their enrichment of cultural life throughout New York and our nation. They deserve to be seen, heard, celebrated, and supported.”
“We live in a data-driven society and most often the people collecting the data are not invested in the subject or information being gathered and it affects how the outcomes are reported,” said Greer Smith, Founder, and CEO of TRANSART & Cultural Services Inc. and HueArts NYS Advisory Board Member. “HueArts NY State’s work in the field changes that for organizations of color and the audiences we serve. The professionalism and care provided by the team at HueArts NYS will ensure the stories, the voices, and the value of BIPOC-led arts organizations along with artists that exist outside of NYC will now have representation in the places that are often closed to us.”
The HueArts NYS Brown Paper findings and recommendations are organized around six categories that include funding, staffing, career and professional development, recognizing value, physical space, and advocacy and community building. More than 130 arts entities are included in the HueArts NYS map that was gathered through community outreach, online searches, crowdsourcing efforts, existing directories, interviews, and community conversations. Criteria for inclusion on the map included arts entities located in New York regions including the capital, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York.
“Hester Street is proud to continue our partnership with Museum Hue with the release of an even more robust HueArts NYState digital map and directory and brown paper containing findings and recommendations focused on Black, Latine, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and all People of Color (POC)-led and founded arts entities throughout the state,” said Eva Neubauer Alligood, Executive Director, Hester Street. “The process of working across communities to gather stories, experiences, and quantitative data revealed the profound value and urgency of deepening this collective advocacy effort. The HueArts NYState report is also a call to action for policymakers, funders, and other state leaders to make the kind of investments that fundamentally shift the paradigm for these vital culture bearers.”
Key findings of the Brown Paper Report include:
– Funding & Finance: More than half of the arts entities surveyed have budgets less than $50,000
– Staffing & Professional Development: 75% of the entities reported one or fewer staff members
– Recognizing Value: The value of these organizations’ work is frequently underrecognized and undercompensated
– Physical Space & Built Environment: Many of the art entities do not have access to administrative or programming space, with 33% operating out of donated spaces
– Advocacy & Community Building: Operating in isolation and “silos” is a tremendous challenge.
Museum Hue is also developing programs to address the recommendations highlighted in both the HueArts NYC and NYS reports, such as the need for physical space. Through partnership with the American Institute of Architects, the Building HueSpaces series was created, it centers on providing tools and resources around capital projects and existing physical spaces dedicated to Black, Indigenous, Latine, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and all People of Color. Each session hosts panels of experts to provide insightful discussions and actionable guidance for arts entities to attain physical spaces of their own. We believe these efforts will change New York’s arts landscape and built environment. To learn more about the upcoming Building HueSpaces workshops and about Museum Hue’s other upcoming programs, visit us at https://www.museumhue.com
More information, including the HueArts NYS Interactive Map, directory, and Brown Paper report, are available at hueartsnewyork.org.
About HueArts NYS
HueArts NYS aims to utilize the framework of the citywide project to share the stories and capture the data of arts entities founded, led by, and centering Black, Latine, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and all People of Color throughout the state. It provides a mechanism for better understanding these entities and those who build and lead them, their contributions’ value, and the current inequities.
Museum Hue is a nationally recognized organization that works to paint a larger portrait of the arts and culture field by providing greater support and recognition for Black, Indigenous, and people of color throughout museums and other cultural entities across the United States. Founded in 2015, Museum Hue has partnered and collaborated with arts and culture entities throughout the nation.
About Hester Street
Hester Street is an urban planning, design, and development nonprofit that works to ensure neighborhoods are shaped by the people who live in them. We offer planning, design, and community development technical assistance to community-based organizations, government, and other agencies. Our goal is equitable, sustainable, and resilient neighborhoods and cities.
Photo credit: Teatro Yerbabruja